Mr. De Long to Mr. Seward.

Sir: Since the embarcation of the prisoners, Myers and Tunstall, I had every reason to believe that the representatives for foreign governments had failed to do their duty in reference to their subjects residing at this place, who composed the mob of the 26th ultimo, and who are under their sole and exclusive jurisdiction, and over whom their power is unlimited.

The mob was got up in the neighborhood of the residence of the consuls, in the market place, where they had a table, with pen, ink, and paper, set out in the middle of the street, signing and pledging themselves in a solemn manner to force the release of the prisoners in my custody, at all hazards.

In addition to this, I had no evidence that they had made any attempt to withdraw their subjects and keep down the mob, until they were directed to do so by the Moorish minister. I therefore addressed a circular to all the representatives, asking an explanation upon the illegal act of their subjects towards the United States consulate; a copy of the same, with their replies thereto, I have the honor to submit to the department.

The mob was mostly composed of English, French, Spanish, and Italian subjects. There was not one Moor engaged in the mob; on the contrary, the Moorish soldiers performed their duty faithfully.

Through all my trials in connexion with this transaction, Mr. John H. Drummond Hay, her Britannic Majesty’s minister resident at this place, although he was strictly neutral, was, at the same time, my true and faithful friend.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

P. S.—I shall carry with me to the latest period of my life the scenes of the 26th ultimo. I have heard of barbarian mobs in barbarian countries, but it is the first time in my life that I have ever heard of nearly the entire Christian population in a semi-barbarian country raising a mob to interfere with the acts of a Christian consul. But thank God that I have overcome all, and sustained the honor of the American flag.

J. D. L.


Sir: In the afternoon of the 26th ultimo the United States consulate was besieged, the American flag insulted, and my life endangered by an armed mob, [Page 866]composed of European subjects residing here under the protection of representatives from foreign governments.

The circumstances connected with the history of this outrage lead me to believe that there was no intervention by any of the representatives before mentioned to put down the mob until directions were given by the Moorish minister of foreign affairs.

If temporary civil war is raging in my beloved country, we still have a Union and a Constitution, which we will, in God’s name, preserve and transmit unimpaired to our children and children’s children through succeeding generations ; and a flag known and honored throughout the world shall not be insulted by a rabble European mob on the coast of Africa without a proper acknowledgment being made by those who perpetrated the outrage, or those who connived at it.

Trusting that in your early response to this communication you will be able to acquit yourself honorably, and enable me to make a satisfactory report to my government,

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

JAMES DE LONG, United States Consul,

John Hay Drummond Hay, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty’s Minister Resident, Tangier.

The same to—

Hadjoute Pellissier, Esq., Acting French Charge d’Affaires.

S. D’Ehrenhoff, Esq., Swedish Consul General.

Guiseppe De Martino, Esq., Italian Agent and Consul General.

Francisco Mery y Colom, Esq., Spanish Charge d’Affaires.

Jose Manuel Colaco, Esq., Consul General for Portugal.


Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date, acquainting me that on the 26th ultimo the United States consulate was besieged, the American flag insulted, and your life endangered by an armed mob of Europeans, residing here under the protection of the representatives of foreign governments; and you further state “that the circumstances connected with the history of this outrage lead you to believe that there was no intervention by any of the representatives to put down the mob, until directions were given by the Moorish minister for foreign affairs.”

In reply, I beg to repeat what I have already had the honor to state to you verbally, viz : That her Majesty’s consul, Mr. Beade, previously to the receipt of any message from the minister for foreign affairs, had, on hearing of the tumult amongst the European community, taken the necessary steps to prevent any persons under our jurisdiction from breaking the peace, or in any way interfering with your acts as consul for the United States.

[Page 867]

On my return from the country, at about 4 p.m., I found the tumult had been quelled ; but I, nevertheless, reiterated the orders which had already been given by Mr. Beade to British and other subjects under our jurisdiction.

I avail myself of this opportunity to repeat to you my regret, if any individual within the pale of our jurisdiction should have taken part in the proceedings you describe, and which I entirely disapprove of.

Should you, however, think proper to prosecute any person under the jurisdiction of the British consulate general, you have only to take the usual steps for bringing the matter before her Majesty’s consul.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient humble servant,



Sir: I have received the communication which you have done me the honor to address to me under date of the 1st instant, and regret to learn the scandalous events which gave rise to insults addressed to you and against the flag of the United States.

Having no subjects here, my consular jurisdiction is naturally without power to intervene, but I can assure that if any countrymen had been in Tangier I would have immediately recalled them to a sense of their duties, had that been necessary.

It is, however, befitting, sir, in answering your letter, to take up a passage, the bearing of which seems to me, at the least, strange. You say, “trusting in your early response to this communication, you will be able to acquit yourself honorably, &c., &c.” You ought not to be ignorant, sir, that the case happening, I would only have to justify myself in the opinion of my own government, and never towards you, representing a foreign power.

Accept, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.


Mr. De Long, Consul General of the “United States in Morocco.


Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of 1st March.

I see, with regret, that you have been collecting, upon the events which passed on the 26th February, reports which are not exact. Representative of a free country, I could not hinder my countrymen from freely expressing their opinion; but as soon as I learned from the representative of Spain that a mob was going towards your consulate, fearing some unlawful act, immediately, in accord with this colleague, I sent all my soldiers, and all employed by me, to order all Italians to withdraw from the crowd, and to retire, and all, without exception obeyed my order, and this step was taken by me, without having received, either before, or afterwards, any communication on the part of the minister for foreign affairs. Although convinced that no one of my countrymen went near your consulate, nevertheless, if you choose to take legal proceedings against any one, this consulate will hasten to render justice to your complaint by instituting a judicial investigation.

[Page 868]

I hasten to give you these explanations, animated by the spirit of conciliation and respect for you, but, at the same time, I have the honor to tell you that the sole judge of my conduct is my government, and in that alone do I acknowledge the right to acquit or censure me.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,


Mr. De Long, Consul General of the United States in Morocco.


The undersigned, charge d’affaires of her Catholic Majesty, has received the communication which, under yesterday’s date, the consul general of the United States has pleased to address to him.

The undersigned sees, with regret, that the consul general of the United States appears not to understand the facts which took place on the 26th of February last.

Those facts are public, and no one in Tangier is ignorant of the attitude which, from the beginning of those events, without any incitement on the part of the authorities of Morocco, the legation of Spain assumed in respect to her subjects. This attitude grew out of the reprobation with which the undersigned always has regarded and always will regard every unlawful act which may tend to abridge, by intimidation or otherwise, the free action of the representatives of the Christian powers in Morocco.

Notwithstanding this, the undersigned has the honor to state to the consul general of the United States that so soon as in the early hours of the morning of the 26th he could notice the excitement among the people of the city, he issued suitable preventive orders to the guard of the Spanish legation that they should not permit that Spaniards should take any part in any active demonstration. Later in the day when the undersigned received intelligence that the mob was going towards the house of the American consulate, the undersigned sent thither all his guards, suitably armed, with decided orders, by the employment of force if it should be necessary, they should send off from thence every subject of her Majesty there might be among the multitude, and should not allow any Spaniard to commit the least disrespect to the dwelling of a foreign agent.

The arrangements of the undersigned, dictated in concert with the representative of his Majesty Victor Emanuel, who acted in the same manner, were faithfully carried out.

The undersigned is gratified in also bringing to the view of the consul general of the United States that if he has special reasons to believe that any Spaniard participated directly or indirectly in the act to which, in his communication, he refers, he can make it known to the undersigned, who will cause the proper judicial investigation to be made, and if thereby shown to be culpable he shall be punished.

The undersigned, in giving these explanations to the consul general of the United States, considers it his duty to state explicitly that he grounds them solely on the impulse of his sentiment of friendship and good will towards Mr. De Long.

The undersigned avails of this occasion to reiterate to the consul general of [Page 869]the United States the expression of his sentiments of distinguished consideration.


The Consul General of the United States of America.


Sir: In view of the note which I had the honor to receive from you, dated the 1st instant, the contents whereof I have duly noted, I deem it my duty to place in your hands the following answer. It is not possible for me, at the moment when riots and tumults break out in this country out of my sight, to know whether or not Portuguese subjects are so implicated as to be subject to be proceeded against in conformity with our laws, unless the culpable, if such there be, are pointed out to me. I should pass beyond my attributes to notice upon hearsay riots and tumults, unless their existence interfere with me or my people, as such should be made known to the public authority which is competent to their suppression, but notwithstanding, when, on the 26th day of February, I was told of the disorders then occurring, I ordered notice to be given to the small number of my countrymen residing in this city that they must take good care not to mix up with matters which did not belong to them. This being done, and being ignorant of the circumstances you mention relative to the history of the outrage to which you allude, I find it gratuitous that, directly or indirectly, any responsibility can be imputed to me in such a conjuncture, but it would be proper, if you are pleased to prefer an accusation before me against this or that individual subject to my jurisdiction, whom you may judge to have been involved in the grave events which are the subject of your said note, that I should, in respect to them, take such proceedings as pertain to my duty, adding that, if I do not mistake the purport of the last paragraph of your note, I know nothing of any obligations I am under of which I should honorably acquit myself as towards you, my government being the only tribunal competent to pass judgment on my actions.

In addressing to you what I have thus said, I avail myself of this opportunity to reiterate to you, sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.


Hon. J. De Long, Consul General of the United States of America at Tangier.